I had posted the graphic for our upcoming “Hot Date Ale” on the brewery’s Facebook page. Folks went a little crazy over it.
Yes, I was trying to gauge the interest. No, I didn’t want to start a riot.
Either way, Hot Date Ale is out there. And yes, there’s a bra on the can graphic. First time that’s ever happened? Quite possibly.
The question that we are constantly asked is, “How do you come up with stuff like this?”
So here’s the story of Hot Date Ale….
Rewind to our very first tasting event at Homegrown Foods in Springfield, MO. The day before Thanksgiving in 2012, Brian gave out samples of beer alongside “The Date Lady” who was giving out samples of her date syrup.
Brian brought home some jars of date syrup. “I’m going to brew something with this,” he said.
A few weeks later Brian and I were doing a tasting event at one of the “Barrels” stores attached to a Price Cutter in Springfield. The store manager said with conviction, “You should brew something with peppers. I can’t keep pepper beers in stock.”
Around that time we were planning for our very first beer dinner with Jason Miller at Instant Karma in Joplin. Jason requested something like 9 different beers for the dinner. Brian was working on getting creative. Meanwhile I was loving some Cocoa Mole from New Belgium and Mole Stout from Ska. “We should make a pepper beer,” I agreed.
“Hot Date! We will call it Hot Date!” Brian said. He dreamed up an idea of an amber base beer with date syrup and pepper. What kind of pepper? Well, we have a fondness for chipotle. How much to add? Not so much to hurt, but enough to warm.
We dragged out the Sabco Brew Magic and brewed a 10-gallon batch—the first of which was destined for the Instant Karma beer dinner.
The second batch of Hot Date Ale was served at the 2nd Aleiversary last March.
Sometime this summer we began discussing the idea of canning Hot Date Ale and slapping a label on the can as a seasonal offering during the winter months. We brewed a batch that was served at beer festivals around the Ozarks during Oktoberfest, and we received very positive feedback about Hot Date Ale.
But what does Hot Date Ale have to do with the Ozarks? We needed a label to put on a blank can.
It took less than an hour for Brooke Hamilton at Grindstone Studio to shoot back sketches of clothing hanging on a tree branch over the Big Piney River.
“It’s perfect,” I told Brooke. “How did you come up with this?”
“A lady never reveals her secrets,” Brooke replied.
Of course not.
However, Brian and I have lived in the Ozarks long enough to know that a bra hanging on a tree branch was truly the Ozark way. Because if you throw the bra on the ground it could end up with spider or tick in it. And who wants to worry about something like that on a Hot Date?
Hot Date is our handcrafted amber ale brewed with a touch of sweet dates and a hint of chipotle pepper heat. We know that a little sweet heat can pair well with a secluded bend in the river or a remote spot on the trail. It may be your first time with a Hot Date in the Ozarks, but it won’t be your last.